Recent developments in accelerator design and enabling technologies have triggered the construction of a new generation of synchrotron and free electron laser X-ray light sources.
These facilities offer X-ray beams of unprecedented quality – typically 100 times brighter than the previous sources and 10 trillion times brighter than medical X-ray sources. Exploiting the full potential of these X-ray beams for user experiments requires parallel developments in many areas of instrumentation.
One of the key areas where quality improvements are required is in the domain of X-ray optics. In particular, the required quality of the X-ray mirrors which, among other roles, modify the energy spectrum of the beam, is beyond the current state-of-the-art.
PCP and Superflat
The Superflat pre-commercial procurement (PCP) is focused upon the outsourcing of R&D services to develop processes for the manufacture of moderate length flat X-ray mirrors with greatly improved surface quality.
Such mirrors will be used in applications contributing to tackling global challenges in key areas including health, environment, energy and new industrial materials. Their impact will extend beyond the facilities represented by the Superflat consortium to cover the large number of new accelerator-based X-ray sources throughout the world.
Superflat builds upon existing expertise in European research infrastructures and industry to provide financial support to companies and researchers. At the heart of this funding initiative with industry is the pre-commercial procurement tool. In this process the consortium will place contracts for the R&D via a competitive tender process.